Notes from the Fortune-telling Parrot : Islam and the Struggle for Religious Pluralism in Pakistan
Part of the Comparative Islamic studies series
This book explores the richness of Pakistan's religious landscape, giving attention to a number of topics: Shia flagellation processions, Urdu-language pulp fiction, streetside rituals involving animals (pariah-kites and fortune-telling parrots), and the use of sorcery to contend with the jinns that are believed to infest cities such as Lahore.
Uniting these topics is an investigation of how Islamist politicians seek to eradicate sectarian diversity and repress localized forms of Muslim folk practices in the name of a standardized, uniform, and globalized version of Islam.
The book looks at forms of resistance to this Islamist globalization, such as collaborative efforts by Christian, Hindu, and Muslim human-rights activists to repeal Pakistan's notorious blasphemy law and assert the worth of religious pluralism.